Going Orwell

Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidily defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. Already, in the Eleventh Edition, we’re not far from that point. But the process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller."

George Orwell, 1984

The University of Michigan (my alma mater, sad to say) has created a “Words Matter Task Force.” The WMTF, as it is called, is apparently bent on lowering the consciousness of all who are associated with the university.

The WMTF, set up by the school’s Information and Technology Services (ITS) department, has declared that it finds more than two dozen words and phrases possibly offensive to people, including “picnic,” “brown bag” and “blacklist.” ... The WMTF offers alternative words to use, for instance urging people to say “gathering” instead of “picnic” and “lunch and learn” instead of “brown bag.”

“...Among other banned words include “dummy,” which should be replaced by “sample,” and “crippled,” which should be replaced with “weakened.” And instead of saying “crazy,” staff are encouraged to say “unthinkable.” The task force also said “off the reservation” should be replaced with “outside the norms” or “rogue.”

https://www.dailywire.com/news/university-claims-words-picnic-brown-bag-are-offensive

The WMTF isn’t going full Orwell just yet, as the substitutes are not (yet) limited to only one word. However, as in all fascist and communist organizations, “self-censorship” is critical to getting along. In fact, it might be better – because one does not care to offend anyone – to say nothing at all.

This idea will sit well with our elitist overlords; for a quiet, acquiescent population is easily controlled.

As the “best and brightest” gather at their cocktail parties they speak about the vulgarity of the Great Unwashed and our outdated and outmoded adherence to ideas like honesty, integrity, and transparency. Filled with a sense of titillating superiority, they dismiss pathetic ideas such as the human connection to God. While our elites in Congress give their corporate buddies hundreds of billions of dollars, and themselves $57,000 raises, they beneficently allocate $600 for the masses.

Line up for your vaccines, folks (because another “strain” of COVID is surely on the way), and say nothing about the latest lockdown while you lose your business or your job. However, we can feel comforted by the thought that Jeff Bezos has increased his wealth by another billion or so, as our local hospital suspends “unnecessary” cancer treatments or hip replacement surgeries because of the latest “outbreak” of COVID.

Perhaps the WMTF can come up with a substitute word for “condescending cruelty,” which may offend someone somewhere.  I think I’ll suggest that to my former (once great) institution of higher learning, which has, in the language of the WMTF, become doubleplus-ungood.

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